One of the best things about finding a good chocolatier is knowing they are going to keep coming out with new and delicious ways for you to enjoy their wonderful chocolate. Such is the case with Chuao Chocolatier, who, as all you Candy Addicts know, is one of my favorites. We’ve reviewed several types of their sumptuous chocolate treats before and now they’ve come out with some new products to make me fall in love with them all over again. I’m talking about Chuao’s new line of Single Origin Chocolate Bars and their new Winter Hot Chocolate.
Both of these products came just in time for the colder months of the year, since they’re both traditional comfort foods for any chocolate lover. Who can imagine any winter evening without a mug of hot chocolate or a nice rich bar to indulge in? I certainly can’t! What I find so special about the new chocolate bars is that by selecting specific regions, Chuao it taking one of the richest chocolate couveture around and now refining that flavor that even more. I find this really exciting and I have high expectations for the flavors that each bar will offer.
Chuspa 41% Cacao: The taste of this milk chocolate bar transports you to Chuspa, a cacao growing village on the Barlovento coast of Venezuela. This bar has a nice medium brown color, but because of its still relatively high cocoa content, retains a strong solid form with a good snap. The chocolate is creamy and has a very, very smooth mouth feel. So very buttery and slick on the tongue. The chocolate’s flavor is very milky and sweet, with notes of cream and butter. The chocolate flavor itself is subtle, but still remains very rich. An excellent milk chocolate bar that will crush any chocolate craving you could get.
Choroni 61% Cacao: The flavor of this dark chocolate bar evokes the spirit of Choroni, a village that grows criollo cacao. Nestled in a Caribbean cove, it is the gateway to Chuao, Venezuela. This is a great bar since I think it will appeal to everyone in terms of flavor. The cocoa percentage is a little high for milk chocolate but a little low for dark, so it lands in that nice range of bittersweet chocolate. This bar has a nice fruity taste of red berries. I also get notes of roasted flavors in there too, but it was difficult for me to lay my finger on them. The texture has a slight grain, but still provides a nice creamy mouth feel. Very satisfying and not too rich, this bar has something to offer to all chocolate lovers.
Todasana 74%: The essence of this dark chocolate bar embodies the robust tropics, yet laid back Caribbean lifestyle found in the cacao growing village of Todasana, Venezuela. This chocolate bar has a nice dark color with a good snap and an even, smooth melt. The flavor is the most complex of the three and I found the chocolate to be very earthy. I’m tasting notes that are very green, flavors that remind me a bit of vegetation, mushrooms, and wet woods. The flavor’s finished is very clean and refreshing. There is a subtle bitterness in there, but it’s not off putting in the least since the cacao beans used to make this bar are of such quality. A very unique bar that’s delicious and certainly worth trying.
Winter Hot Chocolate
I was very eager to give this new Winter hot chocolate flavor a try, since I’ve tasted the other flavors that Chuao offers at the All Candy Expo, and I enjoyed them very much. I got even more excited about Winter when I looked at the ingredients in the mix: dark chocolate (73%) with some sugar, dehydrated milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, ginger and pepper. I’m a big fan of cinnamon and nutmeg, so this sounds right up my alley! I am also in favor of the fact that Chuao doesn’t put any unnecessary ingredients in and that they use a 73% dark chocolate for the base.
The hot chocolate, when I first examined it, has solid chocolate pebbles and nuggets mixed with a powder that contains the spices. It smells strongly of chocolate with hints of cinnamon and pepper. One thing I immediately found on is that you have to be exact with the directions. I tried to make it using the old “Swiss Miss” microwave method which resulted in chocolate overflow and lots of mess. Whoops.
So how does it taste? Well, once I made it exactly according to the directions, I found it to be quite delicious. The flavor is of very rich cocoa. The consistency is not watery by any means, but it’s also not so rich either that I feel like I’m drinking liquid chocolate and need to chase it with a glass of water. Winter is a good balance right in between, where you do get the refreshment of the water but the warmth and flavor of the chocolate.
Due to all the “warming” spices that are included in this mix, the name Winter is very appropriate. The spices aren’t too strong either. They provide a nice “edge” to the chocolate, but not strong enough to make the drink have a burn or kick to it. Instead, it’s a good subtle difference that gives the drink an extra coziness. It even tastes good just scooping it out with a spoon (yes, I really did that)!
So once again Chuao has won me over with their delicious new offerings. I recommend giving them a chance if you have the opportunity and the money for it, since they are a gourmet chocolatier and their prices run higher than what many would consider as a daily indulgence. Still, the bars and the tin of hot chocolate are ample in size are would easily last you a good amount of time. After all my tastings, I’m left with a desire for more of Chuao’s creations and am looking forward to whatever they create next!
Buy Chuao chocolates online:
- at Amazon.com